11 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Have Read At Least Once

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In the age of the internet and social media, does anyone still read books? Yes! And you should too. Here are eleven books that will make you a better entrepreneur.

Books are great. They require attention and focus to conquer. To avoid just skimming through them or even just leaving them on your night stand, you should make time to read these books – we recommend a rainy weekend or a quiet evening every few days.

These 11 books have been compiled and read with a strategy in mind – to give you a broad base of knowledge which you can directly apply to your startup. If you’re an aspiring founder, these will also give you guidance through those first weeks, months and years. So let’s get started!

#1 Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter

Similarly to ‘Who Moved My Cheese’, which is mentioned further below, this book uses a fable to introduce the challenges of change management. This book is often read to children, future teachers and is highly recommended to aspiring entrepreneurs. Much of the message of this book surrounds the question of leadership, team building and taking action. If you’re starting a startup in the sustainability or social sector, this book is a must read.

#2 How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This bible of making friends and its updated version, How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age are both timeless pieces of writing and should be read by anyone thinking of founding a startup on their own. Networking and connecting to others to get your idea out is absolutely essential, and knowing a few tips and tricks for winning people over will help you immensely!

#3 A Paperboy’s Fable by Deep Patel

This short book gives a wonderful example of perseverance and how success can be reached by working hard and being dedicated to what you do. Watching carefully, being attentive and going the extra mile can pay off in any business – be it a paperboy, a salesman or an aspiring entrepreneur. In the book, Patel interviews successful CEOs and other influencers and gives the reader inspiring fables to understand that even if you start as a paperboy, you can reach success.

#4 Originals by Adam Grant

Very simply put: non-conformists change the world. Seeing the world through different eyes often makes a big difference. This book has been highly recommended by entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson or Sheryl Sandberg. It describes how unconventional ideas lead to unconventional solutions which can potentially change the world.

#5 The $100 Startup: Reinvent The Way You Make A Living, Do What You Love, And Create A New Future by Chris Guillebeau

If you’re thinking of starting your startup but you have no capital to invest into it, read this book. Many have done it and you frequently hear of such-and-such becoming a success and only investing 1000€ at first. But how exactly did they do it? This book gives you the answers and helps you with establishing your business on a small budget.

#6 The Startup Playbook by David S. Kidder

This book had to be mentioned on this list. It simply contains all (well most) of what you need to know before founding your startup. Kidder himself has had success as a founder and is sharing his wisdom with the next generation of founders – you! The areas covered range from the the very beginning of your startup through to marketing and strategy.

#7 Founders At Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston

A learning-by-doing type of book, Livingston tells stories. Stories about other startups and their first few weeks, months and years with all successes and failures that come with it. By telling these stories, the book is aiming to give you a better overview of the do’s and don’t’s of the ‘industry’.

#8 She Takes On The World by Natalie Macneil

This is just one of many books written by Natalie Macneil, but arguably the best one. It describes – again, I know – the startup journey entrepreneurs can (should) take, except from a woman’s perspective. We all know that the gender gap between founders is shocking, so this is a nice change.

#9 #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

The founder of NastyGal writes about her success and the hard work it took her to get where she is today. From living off nearly no money at all, she made it to become one of the more successful founders today.

#10 Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Forces by Ed Catmull

This book is easily summed up – he wanted to do something, so he did it. Except that process took a lot longer than this sentence. In his biography, Ed Catmull writes about his part in the founding of Pixar.

#11 Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

In his book the founder of TOMS shoes explains how he came up with the idea for the shoe brand that donates a pair of shoes to charity for each pair they sell. This social impact startup has been a huge success and is a must read read for all budding entrepreneurs in the social impact sector.

Did we miss your favourite one? Let us know in the comments!



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